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Salado community coming together after tornado swept through town

The South Shore neighborhood in Salado, Texas received major damage after Tuesday's EF-3 tornado hit the area.

SALADO, Texas — Salado residents are coming together to help those in their communities who were directly impacted by the tornado that touched down in their city Tuesday.

Bell County Judge David Blackburn said the tornado left significant damage, including damage to 63 structures, including 61 homes and a church. In the South Shore neighborhood, at least a dozen of those homes were in their neighborhood.

Credit: Leslie Draffin

Bart Thomison, the owner of Thomison Repair and Remodel, lives in one of the hardest hit neighborhoods. Though his house wasn't damaged, he said he is busy helping out his neighbors that weren't so lucky.

"I watched it come in from the south and make its way over," he said. "Then I saw debris as it lifted up into the sky. As soon as I saw the debris coming, I knew that the houses back here had been affected."

RELATED: Confirmed: High EF-3 tornado swept through Salado, Texas

Andrea Guzman, the owner of La Familia's Rolling Restaurant, said her employees are busy cooking up meals for the community.

"We been through this kind of storms, what we been through hurricanes in Florida," Guzman said. "We don't have a lot of money but we have food and we have a way to make it for people who don't have it."

Credit: Leslie Draffin

Guzman said her team plans to make the Salado community breakfast on Thursday starting at 7 a.m. until 10 a.m.

"If you guys wanna come out and get food just come get it and we're gonna have it ready from 5:30 [a.m.] to 7 [a.m.] and [Thursday] breakfast will be from 7 [a.m.] to 10 [a.m.]," she said. "Just come grab it no questions asked."

Across Salado High School, Salado Fire Station 2 is serving as a drop off location for community donations.

Credit: Leslie Draffin

"Community reaction, community support [has] been overwhelming, it's been awesome," said Fire Chief Jim Franz. "People are calling, people are coming by dropping off items, this such a great cohesiveness where everyone has come together. Its bad aspect has made my job so much easier."

Franz says right now, they don't know specifics about what is needed most, but they are taking donations at the station on Highway 2484. Donations needed include water, cleaning supplies, Gatorade, non-perishable food and clothing.

RELATED: Bell Co. deputies: At least 15 to 20 homes damaged in Salado after confirmed tornado, debris scattered

Across town, Terry Swanson at All Creatures Hyperbaric Therapy is opening her place up for animals in need.

"These animals around here are all parts of our families," Swanson said.

She says she has room for dogs, cats and even horses.

Credit: Leslie Draffin

"We've been a part of this community, and the animals in this community, for over 40 years from horses to rescue animals to injured, sick and you know, we're always available to help our friends and neighbors."

If you’d like to help those who were impacted by the tornado, you can call 254-534-2217. This is also the number to call to make donations.

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